July 28, 2021

Eggs 101: Answers to your top questions

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

What are the top questions that we get at Burnbrae Farms? That’s what I’m going to share with you today – since you’ve probably wondered about some of these things too! Here we go…

All about colour

What is the difference between white and brown eggs?

Some people think it’s similar to white vs. brown bread, where one has a nutritional edge. But that’s not the case. Both white and brown eggs have the same nutritional profile and are equally nourishing. The difference is in the breed of the hen laying the eggs. Brown-coloured Rhode Island Red hens lay brown eggs, while white-coloured White Leghorn lays white eggs. What changes the nutritional value of the egg is the hen’s feed. For example, include flax seed in her diet and she will put more omega-3 in her eggs. For more insight, click here .

Why are some eggs yolks darker than others?

The colour of the yolk is based on what the hen is fed, and is measured using a Roche Yolk Colour Fan . Interestingly, hens in Western Canada are fed a more wheat-based diet and have lighter yolks. In the east, hens are fed more corn, and produce a slightly darker yolk. Plus, chicken feed contains carotenoids, which are natural plant pigments (found in carrots and leafy greens). The more carotenoids in the feed, and the more a hen eats, the darker the yolk. At Burnbrae Farms, our hens have free access to their feed, so it’s possible for them to over- or under-eat, which can affect yolk colour.  Learn more here .

Why are the yolks in Omega Plus eggs even darker?

These specialty eggs have a much darker yolk, which fall in the 10-15 range on the Roche fan. It’s because of the addition of ingredients such as crushed marigold, which are added to help make the eggs high in lutein (a nutrient that’s important for eye health). These hens are also fed fish oil and vitamin D so you will see elevated levels of both in these eggs. Learn more here .

Egg nutrition

How many eggs can I eat each day?

You can certainly eat eggs daily! A study out of McMaster University was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which look at research across 50 countries. They found that eating eggs daily was not associated with high cholesterol, or any major cardiovascular disease events. The researchers concluded that “our findings indicate that moderate egg intake (1 egg per day) does not increase the risk of CVD or mortality among those with or without a history of CVD or diabetes.” Learn more here .

How do you get the omega-3 fats into omega 3 eggs?

The hens that lay our Naturegg Omega 3 eggs are fed a diet enriched with flaxseed, which is naturally high in omega-3 fat. The research on this diet was conducted at the University of Guelph by poultry science specialists Our hens are fed a balanced amount of flax seed to meet the standard DHA omega-3 fatty acids of 75 mg per 1 large egg, and the remainder of their diet includes soy protein, canola protein, grains such as corn and wheat, fat, minerals and vitamins. Learn more .

What’s the difference between enriched, free run and free-range eggs?

Enriched eggs come from hens raised in small social groups that are free to perch, scratch and lay their eggs in a nesting area in a furnished cage environment. We package these eggs in our Naturegg Nestlaid brand. Learn more with two insightful videos, here and here .

Free Run eggs are produced by hens that are free to roam in open-concept barns equipped with nests, perches and dust-bathing areas. Learn more here .

Free-Range eggs are produced by free-range birds that have access to the outdoors (weather and environmental conditions permitting). They live in open-concept barns equipped with nests, perches and dust-bathing areas.  Learn more here .

Free-Range Organic eggs come from hens who live in free-range conditions, and are fed multigrain feed that’s grown on land that has had no herbicides, pesticides or preservatives used on it in three years. The hens are also part of a vegetarian feeding program that contains no medications, antibiotics or animal by-products.

Egg sizes

How do you determine the difference between medium, large and x-large egg?

The age of the hen determines the size of the eggs. A young hen, called a pullet, lays pee-wee eggs. As she matures and grows, her eggs get larger. She will lay pee wee, small, medium, large and x-large eggs through her laying cycle.  When graded, the eggs are weighed and assigned to cartons based on their weight and not their size. You will find a sizing chart here .

Have more questions about eggs? Visit www.burnbraefarms.com , we’d love to hear from you.

Margaret Hudson

President & CEO, Burnbrae Farms